If you want to know how to keep a cat entertained in an apartment you have to think about the cat’s wild side.

Wild cats are entertained with enrichment, mental stimulation, and hunting.

Keep your apartment cat entertained with daily play sessions, tall cat furniture, and fun activities.

This entertainment can help prevent boredom, overeating, and stress.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment. My cat was adopted from the streets.

I’m constantly getting creative to keep him entertained in our small apartment.

Here’s exactly how to keep a cat entertained in an apartment:

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cat entertainment and enrichment pin image

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1. Hide cat treats for hunting for mental stimulation

Hiding cat treats is the best way to simulate the hunting experience and entertain your cat.

Hunting for treats makes your cat work for his food. Cats are natural-born hunters.

  • Put your cat in another room
  • Get some treats ready to hide
  • Hide treats on condos, in cat beds, under toys, on top of scratching posts, in between furniture, on his window perch, and anywhere else they fit
  • Let your cat free and watch him work

Always use high-quality treats made with meat only.

Most crunchy treats are filled with nasty ingredients cats aren’t meant to eat.

Kibble is bad for cats and cat dental treats do more harm than good. 

My cat’s favorite healthy treats are Pet Tao’s beef spleen on Chewy, A Better Treat variety pack, and Feline Natural beef organs on Chewy, Pets Warehouse, and Amazon. Yes, the K9 dog and Feline Natural cat treats are the same.

More healthy cat treat options:

Tip: Hide the treats on glass jar lids to keep your home sanitary.

Hiding treats simulates the hunting experience indoors. Hunting for treats keeps cats entertained because they are natural-born hunters.
purrfect post scratcher
Jericho loved Purrfect Post right away

2. Provide scratching areas to nurture your cat’s wild side

Scratching is a natural instinct. Cats scratch to shed dead layers of claws, stretch, relieve stress, and mark their territory.

Proper scratching surfaces make your cat happy and save your furniture.

  • Scratching posts are great for stretching
  • Pads double as resting areas
  • Don’t forget to teach your cat how to use it

If you don’t provide proper scratching surfaces, your cat will scratch your furniture and rugs.

Never declaw your cat.

Use organic catnip, toys, or scratch on it yourself to teach your cat how to use it.

Best scratching surfaces:

Sisal fabric, real wood, and customizable colors.

Budget-friendly option on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and also available on Chewy.

Available on Etsy. Real wood and built to last.

Handmade, modern, and upscale.

Note: The budget-friendly option is low-quality. I replaced the sisal rope twice within 3 years.

But a low-quality scratching post is better than no scratching post.

In 2020, I decided to upcycle the scratching post with carpet instead of sisal rope.

Then in 2022, I upcycled it again with new sisal and carpet and then donated it. Then I upgraded to Purrfect Post.

A scratching post keeps your cat entertained because it nurtures his natural instinct to scratch.
keep a cat entertained in apartment with puzzle toys

3. Use treat-release toys for entertainment

Treat-release toys are a win-win because your cat has to get active and play to get a treat.

After some playing, your cat is rewarded with a treat. This makes her want to play more.

  • Treat-release toys have openings where the treats fall from
  • Great toys mimic prey in appearance
  • Hide toys in different spots every day

This will add mental stimulation and problem solving to playtime.

Buy feeder mice treat-release toys on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Chewy.

Note: Wash food toys after each use.

Tip: Get multiple treat toys to keep your cat entertained longer. Most are made out of plastic.

You can DIY with toilet paper rolls too. Use a new TP roll every time since you cannot wash them.

Treat-release toys entertain cats because they combine playtime with mental stimulation.
keep a cat entertained in apartment food puzzle toy diy toilet paper roll

4. Cat food puzzle toys are great for enrichment

Puzzle toys provide an enormous amount of mental stimulation.

Food puzzle toys challenge your cat. Challenging your cat provides endless entertainment.

  • Hide treats inside compartments that require an action to open
  • Kitty has to sniff out the treat, figure out how to get it, and then earns a reward
  • Start with less complicated and move up to more advanced
food foraging mat
Jericho noses around for treats on his foraging mat

Food puzzle toys:

  • Food foraging mat on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Etsy
  • Cardboard puzzle feeder and toy on Amazon (US, CA) and Chewy
  • Advanced puzzle toy on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Chewy

Tip: Keep in mind that once your cat figures out the trick, the treats will be gone in seconds. It’s good entertainment to have multiple puzzles.

You can DIY with toilet paper rolls and a food mat too.

Food puzzle toys keep cats entertained because they require hard work. Cats are born to work for food.

Give your cat a confident and comfortable life with the digital + printable Cat Care Binder so you can become best buds.

kitty whip wand toy
Jericho plays with the Kitty Whip on our table

5. Play with your cat daily for 30 minutes

Cats should get around 30 minutes of exercise daily. This can be broken up into a few play sessions.

Playtime mimics the hunting experience perfectly. Cats need to play indoors since they don’t hunt.

  • When buying toys, mimic prey in appearance
  • During playtime, mimic prey in movement
  • Be persistent and get creative

Many clients and friends have told me their cats don’t like to play. But I’m always able to get their cats to play!

Check out my video playlist on how to get your cat to play.

My cat’s favorite toys:

Made by Purrfect Play on Etsy.

From Chester and Pearl on Etsy.

An eco-friendly and upcycled wand on Etsy.

Another eco-friendly and upcycled cat toy. The most versatile activity center ever!

Budget-friendly options:

Bird chirp toy on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Chewy.

Cat Dancer on Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Chewy.

I play with Jericho daily. But I also hide toys inside the Ripple Rug. He plays on it daily by himself.

These cat toys keep cats entertained because they resemble prey and activate hunting instincts.
cat grass eco friendly

6. Set up an indoor cat garden in your apartment

An indoor cat garden can keep your cat entertained because it brings nature inside.

Only use cat-safe plants and intended for cat use.

  • Valerian
  • Catnip
  • Cat Grass
  • Lemongrass
  • Spider Plant

Note: Many common plants and human foods are toxic to cats.

Buy individual plant seeds on Etsy for a DIY garden.

Or buy a complete cat grass kit on Etsy.

Also keep in mind cats may regurgitate grasses after eating. This is exactly why they eat it!

An indoor cat garden can keep cats entertained because it brings nature inside. Bonus: Plants clean your air!
cat furniture for small apartments cat ladder

7. Cats love to climb tall cat trees

Cat trees are a wonderful enrichment for apartment cats.

Cats love to climb and be up high. Cat trees are tall and don’t take up a lot of floor space.

  • Buy cat trees with multiple perches
  • The best cat trees have scratching areas
  • Only buy stable and durable cat trees for safety

Eco-friendly is the way to go here too. Natural materials are best for your cat.

There are so many cat trees for apartment living on the market today.

My cat’s favorite tree:

Customizable, handmade to order, and available on Etsy.

The Cat Ladder is great because each step has carpet for scratching. You can choose from multiple sizes.

We have the 6-step ladder, and it only takes up about 1’x3′ of floor space.

Jericho’s ladder is against the window. So he has scratching, climbing, perching, and window-watching all from one piece of furniture.

We also have a typical cheap condo from Amazon (US, CA, UK) and Chewy.

Check out Tuft + Paw for modern and upscale or CatsPlay for customizable furniture.

High-quality cat trees are built to last years. They are stable and safer for your cats. That means less money spent in the long run.
entertain cats with window perches

8. A window perch provides endless entertainment

The window provides endless entertainment for cats.

A window perch gives your cat safe access to the window.

  • Cats love to look outside and watch birds, people, and bugs
  • Even if your view isn’t great, cats love to look outside
  • Cats also love to nap in the warm sun

Our window perch is a memory foam board with a soft washable cover.

It anchors to the windowsill with a hook-loop fastening strip and metal legs.

No power tools are required.

Buy the window perch on Amazon and Chewy.

Note: Clients and friends of mine have tried the hammock-type perches that suction to the windows. Their cats didn’t use it.

Tip: Rest the ledge of the perch on a condo platform for added safety.

If your cat doesn’t feel safe using it, he won’t use it.

Cats love looking out the window. Even if your view isn’t great. A window perch provides safe, endless entertainment.
how to treat a cat naptime

9. Spend quality time with your cat

Cats prefer human interaction to other stimuli.

Keep your cat entertained by spending quality time together. This will also strengthen your bond.

  • Cats love their humans
  • Spending time together strengthens your bond
  • The cat’s purr heals himself and you

Playing with your cat is a great bonding experience.

You can also take a cat nap together, brush your cat, or window watch together.

Tip: Check out my guide with tons of activities that will strengthen your bond.

Cats love their humans. Spending quality time with your cat benefits both of you.
make your cat happy window perch


Do cats get bored in apartments?

Cats get bored in apartments if you do not provide enrichment and playtime daily. Obesity is a serious health risk for bored and lazy cats. Get your cat active with fun toys, activity centers, and hide healthy treats for hunting. Provide proper enrichment and mental stimulation to keep your apartment cat from being bored.

Is it cruel to keep a cat in an apartment?

It is not cruel to keep a cat in an apartment as long as you provide enrichment and mental stimulation. Cats can live happily in any space with the right care. Play with your cat daily and spend quality time together. Cats prefer human interaction to other stimuli. Additionally, provide fresh food and water and a clean litter box daily.

How do I keep my cat entertained while I’m at work?

You can keep your cat entertained while you work in a few ways. Buy treat-release toys or hide treats around your home for hunting. Get an activity center with cat-safe toys. Leave calming music on. Avoid automated laser pointers, small toys, and strings as these are dangerous unsupervised.

Final thoughts on how to keep a cat entertained in an apartment

Stimulating your cat will enrich his life incredibly.

There are lots of bored cats out there just waiting to play and be challenged!

Simulating the hunting experience challenges your cat. This is the best way to keep your cat entertained in an apartment.

Always buy eco-friendly quality materials.

This will keep your cat safe and help prevent stress.

Spend quality time with your cat. It will benefit both of you.

Need a centralized place to keep track of everything related to your cat? Grab my Cat Care Binder Bundle!